By Nasuha Badrul Huzaini
SHAH ALAM, Sept 24 — The development project which is allegedly taking place in the Bukit Cherakah forest reserve (BCFR) is actually not within the protected area of the forest, says Hee Loy Sian.
The state executive councillor for environment said the news on the road and housing development projects which have gone viral actually pertain to the areas of the BCFR that were degazetted by the former state government.
Hee said the areas were degazetted by the state government in 2006 through PW1443 for ownership purposes.
“Therefore, the management and development aspects of the areas are no longer under the purview of the Selangor State Forestry Department (JKNS) as its status is no longer a permanent reserve forest land,” he said in a statement, today.
In 1909, a total of 9,642 hectares of land in the BCFR was gazetted as permanent forest. The forest reserve has undergone several degazettements since 1976 for the purpose of development. They now exist as Bandar Puncak Alam, Alam Budiman and UiTM Puncak Alam, among others.
As of now, the BCFR still maintains some 1,298.86 hectares of its land as a permanent forest reserve and is managed by the JKNS under the Protection Forest classification.
Hee added that the state government is the only administration that adopts a simultaneous replacement process for any permanent forest reserve that is degazetted.
“This is aligned with the amendment of Enactment (Adoption) Selangor State Forestry Act 1985 which was implemented by the state government in 2011, relating to the need to establish a public investigation for any permanent forest reserve degazettement.
“However the degazettement of that area of the BCFR happened before the amendment was made, which was in 2006, and the act to simultaneously replace the degazetted area was not practiced by the former state government.
“This has proven that the current administration is more concerned with, and committed to, protecting our forests and to increasing the protected areas’ percentage.
“In general, we will ensure that any development in the said areas must comply with the procedures and regulations in force at present,” he said.